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Alfred Brendel plays Schubert [Live]

Alfred Brendel Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 11.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Alfred Brendel studied piano, composition and conducting in Zagreb and Graz, and completed his piano studies with Edwin Fischer, Paul Baumgartner, and Edward Steuermann. His international career began after winning a prize at the 1949 Busoni Competition and he now performs regularly at the world's major musical centres and festivals. He was the first pianist to record ... Read more in Amazon's Alfred Brendel Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Alfred Brendel plays Schubert + Alfred Brendel: The Farewell Concerts + Beethoven: Complete Works for Piano & Cello
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Jan 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B000BYNC28
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,606 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.14 in A minor, D.784 - 1. Allegro giusto10:02Album Only
Listen  2. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.14 in A minor, D.784 - 2. Andante 4:380.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.14 in A minor, D.784 - 3. Allegro vivace 5:410.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in C, D.840 - 1. Moderato12:10Album Only
Listen  5. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in C, D.840 - 2. Andante10:16Album Only
Listen  6. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.18 in G, D.894 - 1. Molto moderato e cantabile12:29Album Only
Listen  7. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.18 in G, D.894 - 2. Andante 9:240.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.18 in G, D.894 - 3. Menuetto (Allegro moderato) 4:540.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.18 in G, D.894 - 4. Allegretto 9:250.79  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.20 in A, D.959 - 1. Allegro12:10Album Only
Listen  2. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.20 in A, D.959 - 2. Andantino 7:380.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.20 in A, D.959 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro vivace) 4:540.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.20 in A, D.959 - 4. Rondo (Allegretto)13:30Album Only
Listen  5. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.21 in B flat, D.960 - 1. Molto moderato15:05Album Only
Listen  6. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.21 in B flat, D.960 - 2. Andante sostenuto 9:070.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.21 in B flat, D.960 - 3. Scherzo (Allegro vivace con delicatezza) 4:010.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata No.21 in B flat, D.960 - 4. Allegro ma non troppo 8:450.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By Ms. R. L. A. Amelan VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Firstly, I must make a confession - as far as I am concerned, Brendel, as a pianist, can do no wrong. I am a huge fan. I also have fond memories of his enormous humility that date back to a private encounter many years ago.

These are beautiful interpretations of some of the finest music in the piano repertoire: they are also taken from live performances complete with shuffling and coughing, which actually makes them all the more compelling. These are all well-known pieces, save one (the D840 sonata in C)and this was a delightful discovery - what a shame Schubert never got around to finishing it.

These sonatas make for an extraordinary listening experience. There is the D784 with its strong and really quite threatening first movement and beautiful final passages expressing such violent longing, and the D894 a real favourite of mine with an exquisite and sensitive interpretation. I could go on but the music just speaks for itself and I can contribute very little in comparison.

If this is your first experience of Schubert's sonatas, you are in for a real treat and I rather envy you. Each listening yields that little bit more in the way of insight and offers even greater treasures: this recording will serve you well in this respect for Brendel is a hugely gifted interpreter. For those who know these pieces rather better, this disc will not disappoint - I simply cannot understand why I am the first to review it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great set 26 Mar 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Al's Schubert has always been among the greatest readings,and to have these personally chosen by the artist is very welcome.
Although the playing is not effortful,for the first time ever,I appreciate the effort involved in both composing and playing these masterworks,maybe because of the live recording,somehow both hands sound more audible to me than usual--not a smooth studio set,then,but something transcending that environment to give(to me,anyway)a fuller appreciation of music that I've lived with for years.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alfred Brendel Plays Schubert Sonatas 20 Jun 2006
By Robin Friedman - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Schubert's piano sonatas are masterworks of lyricism, beauty and introspection. They combine momements of the greatest sadness and tragedy in the face of death with passages of joy and exuberance. Much as they are influenced by Beethoven, Schubert's sonatas have a voice irreplaceably their own.

In this new Phillips CD, Alfred Brendel offers live performances of five Schubert sonatas. The release is part of an "Artist's Choice" series in which the performer selects choice recordings to make available to the public. The recordings Brendel selected were taken from live performances in Salzburg (1984), Frankfurt (1988 and 1999) and London (1997). The liner notes include a brief introduction by Brendel and excellent brief treatments of the sonatas by William Kinderman. As these are recordings of live performances, there are awkward interruptions, (coughings, sneezings, bangings) in places. But Brendel's performances and Schubert's scores more than compensate for these distractions.

The main attraction of this set is the opportunity to hear a great deal of Schubert, including the A minor sonata, D. 784, the unfinished C major sonata, D. 840, "Reliquie" the G major sonata, D 894, and the final two sonatas, in A major, D 959 and B flat major, D 960. Brendel offers beautiful and well conceived recordings. He omits the repeats in the opening sonata movements.

I found the B flat major and the G major sonatas received the most compelling readings on the set. The B flat major sonata is Schubert's last work for the piano written just before his death. It is a monumental and intimate composition, with its flowing, death-haunted opening movement and its deeply introspective slow movement. The scherzo and the finale are in sharp contrast with the opening as Schubert decided to counterbalance sorrow with lightness and joy.

The G major sonata dates from 1826 and is sometimes described as a fantasy with four long, disparate movements. It has become my favorite Schubert sonata over the years. The work is long, even omitting the repeats, slow, and requires concentration to perform and to hear. Brendel takes the opening movement at an appropriately slow tempo, bringing out Schubert's combination of thought and song. The second movement includes passionate outbursts in the middle section while the two outer movements are full of gaiety and lyricism.

The A major sonata, D. 859, is largely an elevated and serene work, filled with the joy or creative effort and making music, in contrast to its tragic B flat major companion. The work centers on a deeply sorrowful slow movement in a walking tempo which includes great tragic outbursts. But the tragedy of this movement is more than answered by the rest of the work, especially by the beautiful, cantabile finale. Schubert there resurrects a theme from his earliest piano sonata to create a work of great depth and hope. In this finale, Schubert expressed a transcendent feeling of aspiration and hope through song.

The three- sonata in A minor, D. 784 is an earlier work (1823). The opening movement features a stern, angular opening theme contrast with a lyrical second theme of great beauty. There is a short, songlike middle movement, followed by a rapid finale which again contrasts a sharp a minor theme with a second theme of a dreamlike character. The "Reliquie" sonata, like Schubert's much more familiar, eighth symphony was left unfinished. But is is a work of the same lofty character with a lyrical, varied opening movement, and a sad, flowing slow movement.

Although they took many years to achieve recognition, Schubert's piano sonatas are among his greatest achievements. This CD by a great modern interpreter of Schubert, will reintroduce or reacquaint the listener with truly inspiring music.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seductive live recordings by Alfred Brendel in his beloved repertory - Schubert's late sonatas 14 Oct 2010
By P. Adrian - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Philips label, for which Alfred Brendel had been recording for almost four decades, offered the great Austrian pianist on the occasion of his 75th anniversary (in 2006) the opportunity of choosing his favorite unpublished-yet recordings and subsequently released them one by one in an acclaimed series called Artist's Choice to an enthusiastic worldwide audience. It can be regarded as a deep bow to a great musician whose aristocratic style has - subtly but consistently - marked the music making in the XXth century and secured him a first row place among the greatest pianists ever. Mostly taken from live performances, these rarities shade a warm and seductive light on Brendel's refined artistry. Here, in a repertory always dear to him - Schubert's late piano sonatas, his mellow musicianship and poised approach simply shine and suits in a stunning manner the composer's intentions. There are irreducible tensions, melancholy and hope, resolute rhythms and calm soaring in a well calibrated pace, fearsome trills and impressive chords sustaining all the lovely Schubertian melodies. Amazing contrast between the lightness of the work and the miserable life of the Viennese composer (after an unhappy existence, dead untimely in the autumn of 1828, aged 31)!

Brendel's lifelong scrupulous respect for the score he interprets is present here too, maybe with a deeper care for the character of each piece, for the meanings and feelings rather than for small filigrees, as these are mainly live performances. Though, not missing to gracefully polish each detail but this has to match the line and serve it. Which all small structures actually do in Brendel's conception. For all his aficionados these two CDs enter a serene competition with his previous studio recordings of the same works. The delight of comparing his accounts at different ages and slightly different moods, opposing live performances to studio ones is definitely an intense musical pleasure and a refined intellectual challenge.

The present CD-twofer includes D 784, D 840 "Reliquie", D 894, and the last two sonatas D 959 & D 960. They were recorded chronologically at the Salzburg Festival 1984, the Royal Festival Hall London (1997), the Alte Oper Frankfurt (1998), and Maltings Snape (1999)respectively.

As I never get annoyed by Alfred Brendel playing his favorite composer Franz Schubert, I give this recording five big stars and warmly recommend it to all refined music lovers!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wondrous interpretation. 23 Feb 2009
By Dominique Elliott - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I can only add anecdotal notations to Robin Friedman's wonderfully informative and insightful comments. The piano sonata in A major holds a particular place in my family's history and was, indirectly, linked to my parents' divorce... . Robert Bresson used it in a heart-wrenching scene in Au Hasard Balthazar in 1966. I will let the reader discover the scene rather than describe it here.

Alfred Brendel's interpretation is one that resonates with melancholy and grace all at once. His touch is at times so gentle that he seems to taper the strings with his own hand, rather than through the intermediary of the hammers. It still ranks as one of the top performances of Schubert's work.
5.0 out of 5 stars Schubert Live! 21 Jun 2012
By R. O'Donnell - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Different pianists interpret Schubert differently...some interpretations are lifeless, some pedantic (Schiff), some too conservative, others take too much liberty (Evans). Brendel plays Schubert as Schubert would probably like to be played: robustly delicate...An outstanding recording.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recordings 24 Feb 2013
By Scott Weaver - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Brendel was one of the great pianists of the 20th century, and what a treasure to hear this 2 disc set of him performing some of Schubert's greatest instrumental music. Highly recommended!
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